Brownie Cookies are a Real Thing--And You Need to Try Them Today!
My mother-in-law has been staying with us for a few weeks and when I’m around her there’s always one thing on my mind--brownies. Ok, of course it’s also super fun just to hang out with her and chat--but we don’t do brownies often enough around my house and when she’s around we always have to whip up a batch or two to make not only her, but everyone a little happier. Brownies make everything better!
As I was browsing some fresh recipes for brownies, I stumbled (not by chance, I don’t think ha!) on this recipe for black bottom brownie cookies. Which basically means heaven--in cookie form. This magic is made by making brownie batter--freezing it--and then scooping in to balls, and adding a little cheesecake with bittersweet chocolate chunks in the middle, which brings such a lovely tanginess to counterbalance the richness of the brownie.
Of course freezing the brownie dough is the only way this is even scientifically possible with brownie batter. But it really works. After you freeze, scoop, stuff and form into a ball, you pop them back in to the freezer to firm it up a bit more so that it gets nice and cold and doesn’t spread into a big pile of mush in the oven.
And I tell you what--here’s another clue that this recipe means business--we’re not just throwing in any old milk chocolate chips to the cream cheese mixture--we’re going to chop up bittersweet chocolate into them which is the hard core way, aka the right way to do things when you mean business! Oh and they’re topped with flaky sea salt. I mean, c’mon! Does it get better than this?
These cookies do take a bit of time--you freeze the dough overnight and take a few extra steps to stuff them--but I thought they were so worth it. I hope you think so too!
So let’s get to it. Here’s the recipe:
Black Bottom Brownie Cookies
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (225 g) sugar
¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp. (80 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¾ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
½ cup (65 g) all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. (42 g) sugar
1 ½ tsp. (6g) cornstarch
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 ¼ oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate (about ¼ cup)
Flaky sea salt
Heat sugar, cocoa, butter, and kosher salt in a medium heatproof bowl set over a medium pot of barely simmering water (do not let bowl touch water), stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture is hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test, about 15 minutes. (Don’t worry if it looks gritty.) Let cool until mixture is warm, not hot, about 5 minutes.
Stir in vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition, until mixture looks thick and glossy. Add flour and mix until combined, then beat vigorously with wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until shiny and homogenous, about 1 minute.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and freeze at least 8 hours or up to overnight.
Filling and assembly:
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and kosher salt to combine in a small bowl.
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Add sugar mixture and continue to beat until well combined. Fold in chocolate. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and freeze until very firm, at least 8 hours or up to overnight.
Place racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line to rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Let dough sit at room temperature 5-10 minutes.
Using a spoon dipped in hot water, scoop 10 balls of dough (about 1 ½ Tbsp. each) and roll into smooth balls with your hands. Using your thumb, make an imprint in center of ball, then fill each indent with about 1 tsp. Cream cheese filling. Using your fingers, flatten edges of dough to about a 3” circle with the filling in the middle (like you’re making a dumpling). Fold dough over filling to cover completely; pinch to seal. Arrange on prepared sheets, spacing at least 3” apart. For best results, freeze dough 10 minutes.
Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, until edges are set and firm (the centers may be a little shiny and wet-looking) 12-14 minutes. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt while still warm, then let cool on baking sheets until firm. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Cookies can be baked 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container and chill. Assembled unbaked cookies can be made 2 months ahead. Freeze on baking sheets, then transfer to freezer bags and keep frozen.
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